2020 Suwanee River Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Gulfstream Park Press Release | OTB Writer
Updated: February 06, 2020

Starship Jubilee (Blue Heaven Farms) will seek to add another heartwarming chapter to her claimer-turned-Grade 1-stakes-winner fairy tale Saturday, when the 7-year-old mare returns to action in the $150,000 Suwanee River Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Claimed for $16,000 at Gulfstream Feb. 12, 2017, Starship Jubilee has gone on to win eight stakes, including five graded stakes, and more than $1 million in purses.

The Florida-bred daughter of Indy Wind, who has won nine of her 17 starts over the Gulfstream turf course, joined some elite fillies and mares when she captured the $600,000 E. P. Taylor (G1) at Woodbine Oct. 12.

2020 Suwanee River Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 11 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, February 08 - Post 5:04 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Kelsey's Cross 15-1 Romero Maragh
118 Lbs
Patrick Biancone
2 Smart Shot 10-1 Chris Landeros
118 Lbs
George Arnold, II
3 Magic Star 5-2 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
124 Lbs
Chad Brown
4 Vow to Recover 8-1 Edgard Zayas
122 Lbs
Elizabeth Dobles
5 Great Sister Diane 15-1 Miguel Vasquez
122 Lbs
Rohan Crichton
6 Starship Jubilee 7-5 Luis Saez
124 Lbs
Kevin Attard
7 Tapit Today 7-2 Javier Castellano
118 Lbs
Chad Brown

"There have been some great mares who have won it who have gone on to become great broodmares. If you look at the number of Canadian-based trainers who have won it, it's a very short list. It goes to show you how hard it is for a locally based horse to win that race," trainer Kevin Attard said. "I always had a little concern about her going a mile and a quarter. I think it's a little bit beyond her best [distance]. She had a great ride that day by [Luis] Contreras. It was just a pleasure watching her run down the long E. P. Taylor course we have at Woodbine and see her hold on and win the race."

Starship Jubilee is a Sovereign Award finalist in the female turf category, while Attard is a finalist for the Sovereign Award as Canada's top trainer.

Starship Jubilee enters the Suwanee River, a 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares, off a seemingly effortless three-length victory Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park, winning the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf for the third year in a row.

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"When you look at her, she's not a big filly. You wouldn't know that by her attitude on the racetrack. Where she started and where she is today - capped off with the E. P. Taylor, which is not an easy race to win - it's been quite the ride," Attard said. "There was talk of her retiring, but you say to yourself, `How do you replace a horse like this?'" They don't come by often. She's done right by us, so when the time comes when she doesn't want to do it anymore, she will be retired."

Starship Jubilee followed up her E. P. Taylor score with a second-place finish in the Nov. 28 Cardinal (G3) over a yielding turf at Churchill Downs, where she rallied from seventh to take the lead in mid-stretch, only to come up short and finish second.

"You could tell she wasn't liking the turf, but she still gave it all she had and tried her best. She was just second best that day," Attard said.

Back on familiar turf at Gulfstream, Starship Jubilee exerted her class over her Florida-bred rivals in the Sunshine Millions without having to be extended.

"She came out of it great. She's been training well in the interim. It was a pretty easy race for her, so it didn't seem like it took much out of her," Attard said.

Luis Saez is named to ride Starship Jubilee, replacing Javier Castellano.

Reigning Eclipse Award training king Chad Brown will be represented by two turf runners in the Suwanee River - Magic Star, who captured the Jan. 11 Marshua's River (G3) at Gulfstream, and Tapit Today, who is coming off a Dec. 28 optional claiming allowance win at Tampa Bay Downs.

Don Alberto Stable's Magic Star captured the Marshua's River in only her third career start. The 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy had previous won her debut at Saratoga and finished sixth in an optional claiming allowance at Belmont. William Lawrence and Bradley Thoroughbreds' Tapit Today finished second in the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga in August prior to her Tampa win.

Irad Ortiz Jr. has the return mount aboard Magic Star, while Castellano has taken the call on Tapit Today over Starship Jubilee.

Graded-stakes placed Kelsey's Cross, who was beaten by only 4 1/2 lengths while finishing off the board in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) at Keeneland in her 2019 finale, will seek to rebound from a subpar performance in her 2020 debut in the La Prevoyante (G3) Jan. 26,

Romero Maragh has the call aboard the 4-year-old daughter of Anthony's Cross.

Imaginary Stables and Paul Braverman's Vow to Recover, who finished third in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf last time out; Calumet Farm's Smart Shot, who finished fifth in the Cardinal last time out; and Robert Stack's Great Sister Diane, a stakes winner who finished fifth in the Tropical Park Oaks last time out; round out the field.

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